Trump and Campaign Finance Limits


  1. David in Michigan:

    Campaign spending limits allow only the already-famous or the inflammatory populist to challenge incumbents...kindof like Trump @instapundit

    Campaign spending limits allow ...................or the inflammatory populist to challenge incumbents...kindof like Bernie Sanders ..........

  2. Mercury:

    I think you're stealing an intellectual base by implying that inflamatory populists are inherently bad, undesireable or counter-productive. A good many of the Founding Fathers were inflamatory populists and we all live better lives than we otherwise would as a direct result.
    In a (hypothetical of course) situation where all the major power brokers of the political establishment are self-serving, unresponsive to citizen appeals and comprimised to the status quo, how else are you going to move the needle? - by playing by their rules, on their terms? By dressing up in bright red coats and marching out onto an open field of battle in straight lines? I don't think so.

  3. ColoComment:

    Political campaigns are not paid for by the <$250 donors. They are paid for by the maximum $ donors in all categories, including 501c4s, where we can't discover who they are. This is not all bad, as I see it. While conservatives have railed at the Soros political machine during the last few elections, we now have the Koch brothers, who have money themselves, but also connections, and [to me] the right political leanings.

    If this Politico article is accurate, the Kochs have virtually usurped the position of the Republican Party organization, with the stated goal of electing more small-government conservatives. Tea Party types. Who otherwise have been discouraged, unfunded, even campaigned against by the Republican Party establishment.

    When I read the Politico article, my first thought was that here is where we might find a germinating third party with true possibilities of flourishing if nourished and marketed smartly.

  4. kidmugsy:

    There seems to me to have been a woeful shortage of "last trump" jokes. Or does nobody read the Bible these days?

  5. SimonFa:

    Slightly off topic (Mercury touches on the subject), I'm after some advice which as a long term, but silent, follower I think could be provided here.

    I'm a great fan of the Cato Daily Podcast and have been listening to this excellent podcast which covers a lot of the founding of the USA and the politics and philosophy for the key players around Independence:

    Can anyone recommend a book that covers this period as I'm building my 2016 book list and its a period I'd love to know a lot more about than the average Brit is taught.

  6. ColoComment:

    There has been a plethora of "Founders" books in the last 5-10 years. A search at will turn up a virtual library-full. And all of them reveal that the birth of the American "experiment" was likely a once-every-few-centuries confluence of circumstance, philosophical evolution, and remarkable & courageous individuals.

    To start, you can do no better than a slow read and re-read of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as amended.

    A couple of books that come to mind that I quite enjoyed are: "Founding Brothers," by Joseph Ellis, here:

    "1776," by David McCullough, here: (and his book on John Adams is exquisite) ...everything by David McCullough is well worth the reading time.

    "Ratification" by Maier, has been recommended, but I have not read it. Here:

    and for a fuller understanding of the intellectual underpinnings of the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution, you can do no better than reading "Common Sense" by Thomas Payne for the first, and for the second, there's nothing better than reading the contemporaneous "Federalist Papers," and de Toqueville's "Democracy in America" (still one of the best investigations of how the "experiment" was proceeding). I wish he'd come back and do an update!

    For a study of how it's worked out over the years, Seth Lipsky has an overview of how the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted and expanded over the couple centuries. Here:

    Really, there has been so much recent scholarship in this area that it's impossible to list more that a handful. A single book will not do justice to the topic.

  7. SimonFa:

    Thanks. They all look interesting and are now on my list.

  8. ErikEssig:

    "...kindof like Bernie Sanders .........."

    Hardly. Bernie has no chance against Mrs. Clinton. To believe otherwise is pure fantasy. If the Dems had half a bench, they Sanders would have been polling like the R's at the kids table.

  9. Adriana:

    I wholeheartedly second the recommendation for Founding Brothers.

  10. ColoComment:

    For the longer view, your own Daniel Hannen has a well-written book, "Inventing Freedom," that traces the origins of Western principles of liberty through your own history and its importation into the American colonies that led to the founding. Without that political philosophical groundwork, the United States would not have happened.

  11. SimonFa:

    My son's just bough me that one.

  12. ColoComment:


  13. W Wolf:

    If you count the in-kind contribution of networks like CNN devoting far too much coverage to Trump, his is the most expensive campaign ever.

  14. marque2:

    I am surprised they give attention to anyone else. Is Jeb Bush news? Did he have anything new or interesting to say which would make him newsworthy? You do the same mealy mouthed, dismiss the base routine that the last three guys did (two of them losers) and you are bound not to get on the news.